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Monday, September 19, 2011

Time flies...

How can it be almost a MONTH since I last posted? I have a million things in my head to write about. 
  • Last trip to Tennessee
  • Trucks
  • Guest blogging
  • Seasons
  • Organizing
  • Neighbors
  • Shopping scores
  • Work
  • Georgia (and I mean my niece, not the state)
  • No-poo (as in shampoo)
Where to start?

How about a mix of a couple of them? At the end of July Mr. Paisley and a friend went to Robin's Nest for a week. One could call it male bonding, but really, they went to do down right dirty work. And by dirty work I mean really dirty. They pressure washed the outside of the cabin - i'm pretty sure it hasn't been cleaned since it was built in 1995. 15+ years of mountain dirt! 

Here she is all cleaned up - hell even the chimney looks a little better (cannot wait to have it redone in stacked stone)  - forgive the cell phone photo.
 Just for's a photo from when we first bought it... pardon the vehicles (Hi Auntie Alyce!) you get the picture. It was dark and dirty.

Then they started to re-stain it. Here's the photo Mr. P texted me with the samples they threw on the front wall.
We ended up going with the one on the lower left. The cabin one one side of us is the dark brown (walnut) so I didn't want it to be the same color. The top left just looks like it's wet and the top left seemed blah. I'm kinda wishing I went with blah...the lower left looks a bit orange when there's more than an 18" stripe of it. Such is life...i'm sure it will mellow out a bit. I hope. 

At any rate - they got done what they got done and they headed back to Florida. Luckily, the hubs decided to take 75 instead of 95 - for the truck died on the side of the road not far from his parents' home outside of Atlanta. Of course it was Sunday. They dropped the truck at the local small town Ford dealer and my father-in-law sent them on their way in his truck with most of the stuff that had been packed in the the big truck. $1400 and a month later, we pack up the little truck (and when I say little, i'm talking F150 - it's a Ford Lightning - the SVT "race truck" - which is VERY small when you're used to an F350 crew cab) and headed back to The Nest for Labor Day week. We took 75 in order to stop at the in-laws' house and swap trucks. We motored on our merry way on Saturday. On Sunday morning we did the regular...sort of. We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and since I hadn't clipped my coupons, we skipped going to Kroger to get groceries for the week (note's important). A few hours later, we drove up the street, picked up our neighbors and drove to Gatlinburg to take them to our favorite fancy food hideaway for dinner. Where I had this
Yummy no? Apple, walnut stuffed pork loin with THE best sauteed vegetables (mushrooms, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions) on the planet. For real these veggies are so good that they also come as an entree!  Of course dinner was followed by dessert. They make an AWESOME cranberry bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Oh my...heaven. Seriously. Worth EVERY last calorie. At any rate, as we come out of the mountains (aka middle of nowhere), Mr. P whips into the first gas station we come to. The truck was sputtering. He was sure that when the dealership dropped the fuel tank to replace the fuel pump and pick-up that the fuel float thingy that tells you how much gas you have was off.  So he put threw $25 or so of diesel in (I guess I should say "fuel" instead of "gas" since it is a diesel eh?). Onward we go. Sputter, shake. Let the swearing commence. Turns out it's doing the exact same thing it was doing when it broke down in GA. It dies. We get it cranked up. It dies, we get it cranked up and go a little farther down the road. Somehow we manage to limp it back to the office parking area at the resort where the cabin is. It literally has NO power - no way it's going to go up the steep incline to get to the cabins. Did I mention it's raining? Our neighbors have AAA. We call. Flatbed is there within 15 minutes. Impressive (not really, it's a small town - we just aren't used to in Orlando you're lucky if they show up within 4 hours). For the record, an F350, crew cab, with a long bed...BARELY fits on a regular flatbed trailer. Barely. Our neighbor walked up the mountain, got his car and came down to pick us up. Thank God he walks the whole resort on a daily basis. This Florida girl would still be crawling up the hill 2 weeks later. Remember how I mentioned that we skipped grocery shopping? And that it was Labor Day weekend? Did you know that in small towns, car dealerships aren't open on the weekend? Sure, our service departments aren't open on Sundays and in fact I think only half days on Saturday, but i'm talking about the actual sales part of the dealership. Yep, closed. Until TUESDAY...because we all take the day off for Labor Day. Good times. My fantastic in-laws got up early on Labor Day and drove their car and truck 5 hours to the cabin, to loan us the truck. Again. The got there, spent maybe 20 minutes with us and were back on the road to GA. 9 hours. They spend their entire day off driving just so we didn't have to spend $600 to rent a car for the week. Yes $600...did I mention that the LOCAL rental car places were also closed for the holiday weekend? Yep...closest place to rent a car was the Knoxville, TN airport. 45 minutes away - not really sure how we would have gotten there since our neighbors left to go back to OH. I love my in-laws. Needless to say, the dealership didn't even look at our truck until Thursday. We picked it up Friday afternoon. $400 later - $400 for a diagnosis (crimped fuel line) and a hose clamp (temporary fix because - of course - they didn't have fuel lines in stock - in fact the closest fuel lines were in Detroit, Michigan - seriously? Oh and they had them at one of our local dealers back home in FL).

I hate Murphy. If he was standing here I would punch him in the face and tell him where to stick his laws.

Here's the short version of our "vacation"
Friday – after work - leave 1.5 hours later than planned, drove to GA to switch trucks with the in-laws, spent the night.
Saturday – drove to TN, got there mid afternoon.
Sunday – went to breakfast, skipped grocery store, will go later, picked up neighbors, went to dinner in Gatlinburg, driving back, truck dies. AAA tows it to Ford dealer.
Monday – dealer closed for holiday (gotta love small towns…), rains all day. ALL. DAY….and all night. Roof starts leaking. In-laws get babysitter for grandma who can’t be left by herself, drive car and truck to TN to lend us the truck…again.
Tuesday – finally go to grocery store – yea food!
Wednesday – find out there are back taxes due on the house…from before we bought it. Shell out $250 in taxes that should have been paid by the bank when we closed. Text realtor to get closing guy’s contact info (yes, I still text my realtor...we're like BFFs now). Left him message. 

Thursday – uneventful – gorgeous day!  Vacation almost over…spend the day cleaning, doing laundry (oh joy) – plumbing starts gurgling when washer drains.
Friday – another nice day – spend it on the front deck painting a dresser, picked up the truck mid afternoon! $400 – essentially for a diagnosis and a hose clamp.
Saturday – get up at 7am to go to an HOA meeing….meeting goes until noon because the new management company has royally p*ssed everyone off already, go to lunch and the salvage yard with the neighbors (they drive - hey, i'd be afraid of getting stuck somewhere on the side of the road with us too) – get back around 4:15, supposed to leave for GA at 5. Throw in last load of laundry (sheets and towels because we have people renting the cabin before we are back up there), washer drains…into the bathtub downstairs. An hour later hubby has figured out where the pipes are plugged up, can’t fix it. Finally get everything packed into the trucks and we drive BOTH trucks to GA…due to leaving 2 hours later than planned, we hit traffic at a dead stop on the interstate because the TN football game let out. Get to GA at 11:15pm – I eat a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch because he didn’t want to stop for dinner. Go to bed…supposed to be up at 7 to leave by 8. 

Sunday - Evidently, my husband doesn’t know how to set the alarm on his phone because I woke up at 9:35am. End up leaving at 11:30am, get home at 7:15pm, unload the truck, go out to dinner, come home, go to bed and thank GOD i'll be getting up and going to work in the morning, because as many random issues as I get to deal with there, at least I KNOW what's going to happen!

That said...Mr. Paisley is diligently researching and hunting for a new truck. Our truck is a 2003. It's not THAT old...did you realize that if you wanted to buy my 2003 truck, exact model and options, in a 2012 model that it would set you back nearly $60,000?  Leather, power this, power that, 4x4, FX package, tow package, diesel, crew cab, long bed (if you can find a long bed), sunroof, blah blah, blah blah...O.M.G.

I think I just thew up a little bit. 

So there you go - a little glimpse of the past month or so at the Paisley Cottage / Robin's Nest. That covers "Last trip to Tennessee" and "Trucks" - i'm sure there will be an update later.

PS - even though the blockage in the plumbing is outside of the cabin, the city says it's our problem (of course it is...) luckily, our home warranty is paid up and it At least that will only cost $65.